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Saturday, 13 August 2011

E.T. can call us once again -

E.T. can call us once again - 
Reuters files

 A California institute plans to reboot its listening post for intelligent life in space, with private donations to replace government cutbacks.
Back in April, the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) Institute was forced to shut down its $30-million radio telescope array, designed to hear potential signals from alien life forms, for lack of funds.
But officials with the nonprofit institute in northern California’s Mountain View appealed for donations. This week, they said the total raised had surpassed their $200,000 goal.
That was due to the generosity of more than 2,400 donors, including actress Jodie Foster and Apollo 8 astronaut Bill Anders, they said.
As a result, the institute said it expects to restart the telescope array in September and keep it running at least through the end of the year.
The plan is still dependent upon the center receiving an unspecified amount of funds from the U.S. Air Force to track space debris that could damage satellites.
Thomas Pierson, chief executive of the SETI Institute, said he expects the nearly finalized deal with the Air Force will, combined with the private funds, allow the group’s Allen Telescope Array to again listen for space chatter.
“For those who are interested in understanding whether intelligent life might be out there elsewhere in our galaxy, the Allen Telescope Array and our SETI team doing the research is the best bet,” Pierson said.
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